Airfare war brings business class travel at economy prices
The continuing perfect storm producing cheap air travel for Kiwis has stepped up a gear, with record fares released for business class flights to London on Friday morning.
The $3500 airfare is being offered by Flight Centre and Cathay Pacific to celebrate the arrival of the airline's new Airbus A350 aircraft to New Zealand.
Although the airfare is promotional and limited to travel in November, it's come about after a huge increase in competition in and out of New Zealand.
Flight Centre NZ's Sean Berenson says airlines can no longer just focus on lowering prices - they have to offer a more comfortable journey to attract premium customers as well.
"Cathay Pacific's new A350 is much quieter, has new lighting technology thought to make sleep easier and reduce jet lag and has advanced air conditioning, designed to eliminate drafts and introduce stable temperatures."
The Airbus A350 is one of the newest airliners on the market, with Cathay Pacific the first airline to fly the state-of-the-art aircraft into Auckland.
On a publicity trip to New Zealand last year, Airbus pointed out the extra width of the aircraft made it more comfortable than other airliners, flirtatiously stating it's "the extra six inches that makes the difference".
The twin-engine aircraft burns 25 percent less fuel than aircraft of a similar size and it's bigger than Boeing's Dreamliner.
The Airbus A350 and its extra six inches touch down in Auckland for the first time in late October.